Experiences of an English Language Teacher

Five Ways to be an Online English Teacher


Online education is becoming more popular and common throughout the world as technology and educational institutions invest in the possible future of English language teaching. Furthermore, English teachers are now supplementing their income with online English teaching in the evenings or after a summer school has closed their doors for another year. In this blog post, which also supplements a YouTube video, looks at five ways to an online English teacher.



1. Get The Right Equipment

If you are wishing to become an online English teacher, it is important to have satisfactory equipment available so that it does not impede your availability when teaching online. Equipment that you would need obviously includes the computer and you have two choices: PC or Mac. Each have their advantages and disadvantages. PCs are more affordable while Macs are very intuitive and easy to setup once purchased.

As well as the physical computer, you would also need internet when you are working and I would always recommend a stable and very fast internet connection. If you are working with potential clients from the other side of the world, you would need a very quick connection. Did I say a stable connection? Therefore, broadband is a must.

Finally, you would need a suitable webcam if you going down the PC route. Obviously a Mac has a built-in webcam in their MacBooks and iMacs. This is great but if you go towards an affordable high quality PC, then a 1080p webcam is pretty much expected.

You could build your own PC for online teaching with the following:


2. Create An Introduction Video

When applying to work for any possible online English education institute, it is important to put the same amount of emphasis on the application to any physical employer you are wishing to work for. However, due to the digitalisation of any job application in this field, it is important to create an introduction video to go along wit the application. This introduction video is going to be used to promote you when working with the online English company to entice possible customers to register classes for you. Therefore, there are a couple of things to consider when creating an introduction video.

It’s important to film the video so that it is against a blank background without any distractions such as traffic or noise. Choose a quiet room at home or a classroom at work and then hit record. But hold your horses! Have you thought about what else to consider? Well, you would need to place the camera on a tripod. If you are using a smartphone to record your introduction video, then place it on top of boxes against a cup or other heavy object.

With regards to the video itself, you need to include some vital information: why you teach, how long you have been teaching, hobbies and interests as well as where you come from. Keep it short and simple, around one to two minutes. Anything longer would turn off potential students and clients. This video will also be the first video the potential company will see of you so take your time and ensure that it is recorded adequately. You shouldn’t worry if you have to take a few takes to get it right.


3. Update Your CV

One thing which is often overlooked is a person’s CV. It is usually the last thing which is considered when English teachers wish to focus on EFL online teaching. Make sure your CV is up to date and that there is some clear relevance towards online English teaching. Include hobbies and interests which lend itself towards online education and also consider undertaking additional qualifications related to online learning. There are some wonderful books that you could also read which would also improve your chances of teaching English online.


4. Approach Old Students

If you are teaching at a traditional language school in the UK or elsewhere, you could mention to those students (providing you have the permission from your school) that you are offering online teaching for those that are finishing their courses. You could mention to your school that it would gain more interest from third parties as old students who are undertaking online lessons could mention about the school to their friends. Furthermore, you could also gain more online learners from those that agree to have online lessons.


5. Approach Online English Companies

The alternative to approaching students who are leaving your current school is you could start teaching online with an online English education company. They would give you the students and you could also gain that invaluable experience as an online English teacher. If you go through this route, you would need to have an up-to-date CV, an introduction video as well as the best computer equipment and broadband.

You will be expected to undertake a demo lesson during the recruitment process as well as commit to a minimum number of hours. There are growing opportunities to teach English online to young learners than ever before. The majority of these learners are based in South East Asia and their parents are willing to invest in their child’s acquisition of English with a professional teacher.

Should you wish to approach a company, you would be expected to hold a CELTA (or equivalent), have teaching experience as well as be willing to teach children. This profession is a growing industry and parents want their children to have the best education possible. Thus, expect teachers to be professional, have minimum qualifications as well as be willing to teach their children. It is for this reason the introduction video is very important.

Some companies you may wish to approach to gain experience could include:

There is also a list of Online English Companies (https://bit.ly/2xb6dAC) that you could read and then see opportunities elsewhere.

What do you think is important when you want to be an online English teacher? What do you think are the benefits and drawbacks to online English teaching? Please comment below.


  1. Great inputs, I have been teaching online for something now and your suggestions are indeed quite helpful.thanks for sharing.

    • Martin Sketchley

      I’m glad you found the post and possibly video useful.

  2. lokayes

    An informative post, thanks.

  3. Paola

    Hi Martin, I’ve just watched your video about online teaching and I’d like to know whether a non-native speaker could try and apply for an online teaching job. I am Italian and I’ve been working as an English as L2 for more than ten years so far and I use some digital tools with my students, such as Kahoot.

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